This leads to what’s known as a bank run, where the bank fails because it is unable to fulfill all the withdrawals customers demand. This can escalate quickly into a systemic bank panic, where multiple banks begin to suffer the same fate. Each successive failure compounds the collective panic, and quite quickly, the whole system can begin to collapse like a house of cards.

I ended up wiring several thousand dollars to an incredibly sketchy Russian exchange, BTC-E.com, to purchase my first few bitcoins at around $1000 apiece. Before I knew it, I was addicted to constantly checking the price, and spent a full 48 hours doing nothing at the height of the November 2013 bubble doing nothing but refreshing BTC-E.com and seeing how my investments were doing.


To buy/sell on Coinbase or GDAX, you need no wallet, as Coinbase/GDAX will keep your coins for you. You’ll want to enable Google Authenticator for two factor authentication and keep your passwords and your phone incredibly secure, however, as if someone hacks your account, all your money is gone for good with no recourse. This happens a lot. Use a super strong password that you have not used elsewhere and that no one knows and that you won’t forget.
Most altcoins will reach a specific peak during a trading cycle, and the goal is to exit as close to the top as possible, the difficulty is identifying the top. I monitor these positions regularly and try and determine momentum. Depending on the coin and speed of growth, I will look to remove my original BTC investment as quickly as possible, for example, with 3–4x I will take out the initial investment, maintaining my original BTC position but, essentially freerolling the rest. From this point, each 100% move will lead to a 25% reduction in position until I feel that a coin has reached a peak, at which point I will exit the entire trade.

Also in March, it suddenly emerged that the abovementioned startup Crypto Facilities has been offering futures contracts tied to Ripple’s XRP token since October 2016, without much publicity, for some reason. On May 11, Crypto Facilities exploded another bombshell in the crypto space, revealing ETH/USD futures as their latest offering. And to crown it all, in June the same company unveiled the first regulated Litecoin futures.
For most experienced Bitcoin traders, gaining as much Bitcoin as possible is still the name of the game. We see this time and time again, mostly after a big altcoin run-up. An altcoin run-up usually causes a fall in the dominance of Bitcoin. Then, once the altcoin run-up seems to have peaked, traders start selling their altcoins for Bitcoin again, which causes its dominance to rise. In the past, there were many incidents in which the total market cap only dropped a little while altcoins suffered. This indicates that most people are selling their altcoins for Bitcoin, but are not leaving the market just yet.
When a coin has just skyrocketed by 300%, take profits. HODLing everything after such a major run-up is greed, nothing more. I’ve made this mistake more than once, thinking that it’s completely rational that since a coin’s value has gone up by that much, it will probably continue that way. It won’t. There will always be a correction. When you see a major run-up, like the one in December, it’s wise to start taking profits. How the hell can you buy the dip if you have nothing left to buy it with?
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It’s easy to be swept away in the fervor of a frenetic market, and the fear of missing out can be overwhelming especially when you see altcoins rising by wild amounts overnight, but my personal guiding philosophy is to always try to keep in mind fundamentals to the maximum extent possible, to never invest in anything I don’t actually understand or see long term value in, and to only invest in things I intend to hold very long term (for at least 5 years), especially in such a volatile market.
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This ability to transact more anonymously in a digital, global fashion than ever before has indeed opened the gateway to some of bitcoin’s more infamous use cases. Much illicit activity has been enabled by this pseudonymity of bitcoin, including the sale of drugs and other illegal goods online. A more recent development has also been ransomware, whereby malware can now cut straight to the chase and lock up your computer and demand straight up money in the form of bitcoin in exchange for the release of your computer’s data.
Most people are at least somewhat familiar with Bitcoin even if they do not accurately understand how it works. However, once they begin to get involved with cryptocurrency, they may be surprised to learn that there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies (a.k.a altcoins) out there besides Bitcoin (CoinMarketCap listed more than 2000 altcoins at the time this guide was written).
If you are a Beginner based on the bullet points above, you are likely somewhat experienced in the world of cryptocurrency investment, and have seen some success in the market. However, the strategies that you undertake tend to only be slightly above market and you find trading difficult when the market takes unusual turns that throws something unexpected at your trading strategy.
NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), announced that it has today declared a distribution and established a record date for the distribution of all of the Bitcoin Cash currently held by the Trust to shareholders of record ("Record Date Shareholders") as of the close of business on November 6, 2017 (the "Record Date").
Gold Investments is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry. The demand for gold investment has risen substantially as investors increasingly seek safety from paper investments through precious metals.  This higher demand for gold based assets has increased both metals values by more than 400% since 2001.  With nearly two decades of operation, Gold Investments is one of the oldest and most respected names in the gold industry.
NEW YORK, Nov. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), announced today an update on the planned distribution of the Bitcoin Cash currently held by the Trust to shareholders of record ("Record Date Shareholders") as of the close of business on November 6, 2017 (the "Record Date").
With things like brain wallets possible, this means that even in the worst case scenario, you can literally store your bitcoins in your brain and nowhere else, and thereby easily prevent their confiscation. Just yet another fundamental innovation in the evolution of currency that bitcoin has made possible — its fully intangible nature is actually an asset.
This can be an interesting way to gauge the bitcoin market without all the work of getting bitcoins, but it comes at a price. Literally, you'll be paying very high premiums. The stock recently split to make things more affordable, but the premium remains steep. As of this writing, one share from GBTC is worth 0.00100396 BTC, or $6.77. Yet shares are going for $10.70. You'll also need to factor in management fees as well. As a result, some think it's more worth it to just own the bitcoins yourself.
For most experienced Bitcoin traders, gaining as much Bitcoin as possible is still the name of the game. We see this time and time again, mostly after a big altcoin run-up. An altcoin run-up usually causes a fall in the dominance of Bitcoin. Then, once the altcoin run-up seems to have peaked, traders start selling their altcoins for Bitcoin again, which causes its dominance to rise. In the past, there were many incidents in which the total market cap only dropped a little while altcoins suffered. This indicates that most people are selling their altcoins for Bitcoin, but are not leaving the market just yet.
There is also the Bitcoin Investment Trust from Grayscale Investments. We’re mentioning it for the sake of comprehensiveness, but it’s a bit of a different animal. The fund is invested in bitcoin, but keep in mind, you’re actually buying the fund, not bitcoin. You’re a step removed from owning actual bitcoin, even though you are still exposed to its volatility. The pluses, Grayscale says on its site, are that you get the structure and tax benefits you wouldn’t get trading bitcoin directly; on the other hand, fees will eat up a chunk of anything you earn, negating the reason many people are drawn to cryptocurrencies in the first place. All of which is to say, you should really, really know what you’re doing as an investor if you’re going to dive into this pool.
Bitcoin is often touted as an electronic currency that will change the world, but it is also a highly volatile type of financial asset. In fact, many governments don't recognize it as a currency at all. In spite of the many merchants now excepting bitcoin, a lot of the activity surrounding bitcoin comes from traders hoping to make money on fluctuations in its value.

While futures products still carry unique and often significant risks, they can potentially provide a more regulated and stable environment to provide some exposure to bitcoin as a commodity as well. You should carefully consider whether trading in bitcoin futures is appropriate for you in light of your experience, objectives, financial resources, and other relevant circumstances.
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